Few things are more surreal than being on the back wheel of a downhill champion as he dips, swoops and wheelies technical singletrack in front of you. Brian Lopes, a four-time world downhill champ, Hans Rey, a former trials champion and the godfather of modern extreme mountain biking, were hopping over rocks and bumps, wheelying out of berms, and generally having a ball on the dusty Nevada trails. I came to find myself amidst the heroes of the sport of mountain biking during the “Legends Ride” at the Interbike Outdoor Demo, which took place at Bootleg Canyon near Boulder City, Nev., last month.
Mountain Bike magazine organized the event to celebrate 25 years of publication. “We thought, ‘what better way to celebrate than to get a bunch of friends together and ride,’” said Lou Mazantte, editor of the magazine. Calling it the “Legends Ride,” MB assembled some of the pillar members of the mountain bike movement to simply ride some singletrack together — no race, no rules, just to ride. Mountain Bike Hall of Famers Joe Breeze of Breezer Cycles, Greg Herbold and Ned Overend were there to join about half a dozen other “legends” and a few show attendees for some hot laps on the desert trails at Bootleg Canyon.
I wore a Contour HD helmet cam for the ride and captured some of the tail-whipping, trail-railing antics on video. This little camera is fast becoming my favorite ride accessory.
Later, during the trade show portion of Interbike, a handful of the legends riders met for an interview with Mazantte to discuss the future of the sport. This footage is online at the Legends Discussion page on Bicycling.com.
Happy birthday Mountain Bike magazine, and a big thanks to the legends of the sport. We would not have the trails nor the bikes we do today without you first blazing the way with your passion, tenacity and talents. Long live the great sport of mountain biking!